18th-Century Ship Discovered at World Trade Center Site (Video)
Workers Excavating the World Trade Center Site Discovered Part of a Carcass of an 18th-Century Ship on Tuesday
Archaeologists need to spend more time studying the find, but when workers were digging the future site of the underground vehicle security center for the next World Trade Center they saw perfectly aligned upright timbers sticking out of the ground.
Experts believe this ship was buried here in the late 18th or early 19th century for the purpose of extending the Manhattan shoreline in to the Hudson River; it was not disturbed for the building of the first World Trade Center. Further investigation has revealed that the ship was 30 feet long that was buried about 20 to 30 feet below street level.
The New York Times reports that this find is the first since 1982 when an 18th-century cargo ship was discovered at 175 Water Street (they also have some photos of the find).
The wood began to deteriorate as soon as it was exposed to the air so archaeologists have been working quickly to make sure they can preserve it. Luckily it was raining in New York as sun would have caused the wood to just fall apart. Construction work cannot stop so experts are trying to document the find and excavate and then perform their analysis later.
Perhaps the most puzzling and intriguing find was a semicircular metal collar, several feet across, apparently supported on a brick base, built into the hull. Perhaps it was some sort of an oven or steam contraption.
The way the wood has been sawed off indicate that this part of hull had been placed there deliberately and was not washed up on shore there.
The NYT have looked at a 1797 map and reported this excavation site is close to where Lindsey's Wharf and Lake's Wharf once reached out in to the Hudson River.